New and Overwhelmed Fifth Grade Teacher

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by darlindg, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. darlindg

    darlindg Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Hi -

    I'm a new fifth grade teacher in NYC and I am really feeling overwhelmed. School begins for students on Sept. 4th. I won't be able to get into my classroom until Thursday to begin setting up. I am so envious of those of you who have had an opportunity over the summer to set-up and plan. (Your rooms look beautiful by the way!)

    I just got the teacher's editions and I'm not even sure what I should be doing with them! To be honest I find them a little convoluted and confusing. I also haven't met with the rest of my grade level teachers yet and I feel like I don't have the first clue as to how to do any of this. I feel so stressed out and the school year hasn't even officially begun!

    I have managed to complete my behavior management system and most of my procedures. I also have a few ice breaker and community building activities planned as well.

    What else should I be doing? I have never felt so totally overwhelmed and unprepared. I spend every moment doubting myself and reprimanding myself for not having more done. I could use some guidance from both new teachers and more experienced teachers.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Hang in there. You've made quite a bit of progress. You could look at your texts or your school's scope and sequence (if they have one) and map out a general plan for the year for several subjects. Use the teacher guides to get ideas for creative activities, projects, etc., and also for review questions. Each day before you start a lesson, plan to review the prior lessons briefly.

    I think you will feel better when you're actually teaching real kids instead of in your mind!
     
  4. darlindg

    darlindg Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I really do have a sense of being "trapped" within my head. Doubt is a very powerful emotion!

    I'm not sure if my school has a "scope and sequence" -- does that refer to a specific outline of what each grade will teach? I went to an orientation meeting with the principal and other new teachers in July and that term was never thrown out there.

    Let me ask you about the teacher's editions -- I hope this doesn't sound like a foolish question but, there are suggestions and activities and "stuff" ALL over each page that is dedicated to a specific topic, (place value for example.) Am I expected to use all of those suggestions and activities or am I supposed to come up with my own lesson? The school I student taught at did not use teacher's editions so I am at a complete loss as to how to use them effectively in my teaching.

    Thank you again for the help. Makes me feel so much less alone!
     
  5. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    Aug 21, 2007

    I always found that the Teacher Editions were great if I needed ideas as to how to teach a concept. I just followed the outline. They are also great because they have the quizzes and chapter tests - and more importantly - they have all the answers!!! :lol: I also found that the teacher editions had WAY more stuff in it than I could ever hope to cover. The trick is to pick out what you need.

    And as Antoine de Saint-Exupery said: "Once men are caught up in an event, they cease to be afraid. Only the unknown frightens men.” Holds true for women, too! :)
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 21, 2007

    At my school, there is one class per grade and I know how isolating it can feel. My school also doesn't provide a scope and sequence, so we're on our own. Most teachers on here suggest that you look at your state's standards to see what you must cover. Generally, at my school, we don't do that.

    If you are going to use your teacher's guide to plan, don't think you have to use everything in there. It is not set up to be possible, actually. The ideas in the book are mainly for remediation or extension of the main lesson. Will you use workbooks or will the kids work on problems and questions from the texts?

    Depending on the subject, I would present a lesson or mini-lesson after reviewing the previous day's progress. We would discuss during and after the lesson. If there was homework, we would review some of it. Sometimes I would use manipulatives and games in math for introduction or practice, posters or timelines or maps in social studies, we had mini-lessons on the rug for writing. We played simple review games in teams in math and social studies. (I didn't teach science in 5th.)

    Use the search feature on this site (see top of page) to find games and filler activities.

    Ask away - you aren't alone!
     
  7. darlindg

    darlindg Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Thank you both for your advice. I have printed out the standards and will start using them to choose my material. The students do have workbooks. I think I am going to kabd54's and use the TE as a resource and a guide rather than my main source of material. I really assumed that I was strictly tied to it. By the way I absolutely LOVE that quote -- it is so true. I know my anxiety is caused more from the unknown -- the fear that I will let my school, my students and myself down in some way. But once I'm thrown in the deep end I know deep inside it won't be nearly as frightening.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I'm going to go search for some activities now!
     
  8. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Good for you - have fun with it. :2up:

    There's so much great stuff out there and if you're anything like me, I have a gazillion ideas and printouts, but definitely NOT enough time!!
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 21, 2007

    I love that quote, kabd54!
     
  10. kabd54

    kabd54 Cohort

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    Aug 21, 2007

    You know... so do I!! It's so true, isn't it?
     
  11. peachieteachie

    peachieteachie Comrade

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Darlindg - I am in the same boat as you. You should be proud of yourself for putting together a behavior management plan, procedures, and some icebreakers. You will probably get lots of help and ideas from your team members as well as from other teachers on this site. Don't stress! You'll do a great job :)
     
  12. darlindg

    darlindg Rookie

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    Thanks peachieteachie -- LOVE that name by the way! Honestly I am so thankful for finding this site because simply reading through all these posts is what enabled me to actually get the procedures and 1st day activities and management plan done.

    Have you begun school yet? How are you coping?

    NYC teachers are required to be at school for professional development and meetings on Aug. 30 and 31 so that will be the first time I will get to meet with my fellow 5th grade teachers. I guess I am just worried that I will walk into that meeting and everyone else will be super prepared and I will be so far behind. :eek:

    I think once I get in my classroom this Thursday I can start feelingin control again and hopefully other teachers will be there too preparing their rooms so I can mingle.
     
  13. peachieteachie

    peachieteachie Comrade

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Thanks :) School begins August 27th (less than 1 week - ahh!) Today we started professional development days and I almost finished setting up my room. I'm both excited and nervous for the first day, but I guess that's typical.

    I had the exact same feelings as you. Don't be worried. I was surprised to find out how many teachers did not even start planning yet. You will NOT be far behind, at least from most, and teachers are generally very helpful.

    Once you get into your classroom and start preparing you'll start feeling better. But if you're like me, you'll keep thinking "wow, I have so much to do" but that is just how it goes. You'll be ready by the first day.

    Hopefully you'll be able to collaborate with your team members and plan together. I found this to be very helpful as a new teacher.

    Good luck!!!!!
     

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